So some crazy nuts with too much time on their hands in the chemistry department at the University of Kentucky have found a way to blend their two loves: comic books and, you guessed it, chemistry. They set out through decades of old comic books, searching for references to every element in the periodic table and put them up on their crazy website. According to the very excited patron at the library who told me about this yesterday, one of the hardest ones for them was the element Yttrium, but some writers for the 2001 comic book Star Trek: Dividid We Fall heard of their plight and included it in the series.
The site's pretty fun. You can search, of course, by your favorite element (calcium, anyone?). But you can also search by comic book, character, or pretty much any search term your brain can come up with. They also have links to some real science info on the web, so it's not all about being silly. Not surprisingly Metamorpho, a superhero who can alter the chemical makeup of his own body, makes a number of appearances, as do Superman, Ironman, and the Metal Men. But they really dug through some obscure stuff to fill out the periodic table. They are by no means done, but it's a fun if somewhat odd way to experience science.